- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Backers of California’s same-sex-marriage ban said Tuesday they will ask a federal appeals court in San Francisco to review the split decision by three of its judges that struck down the voter-approved law.

Andy Pugno, legal counsel for the Protect Marriage Coalition, said the backers elected to appeal to a bigger panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals instead of going directly to the U.S. Supreme Court to seek the reversal of the opinion that Proposition 8 violates the civil rights of gay and lesbian

Lawyers for the religious and legal groups that qualified the ban for the 2008 ballot faced a Tuesday deadline for petitioning the appeals court to rehear the 2-1 ruling issued two weeks ago.

The move means same-sex marriages will remain on hold at least until the 9th Circuit decides to accept or reject the rehearing petition.